from grass to cheese

My good friend Todd has been making, or trying to make, this documentary for a while now. I posted a short clip on here before, but here is a longer one. They are in the middle of a fund-raising  effort to get money to make a full-length, more in depth version. I think it's such a beautiful, strong story and he has done an amazing job with it. Take a look and tell me it shouldn't get made. If you would like to show your support, go here tinyurl.com/grasstocheese

From Grass to Cheese: The Nolan Family Farm from Milk Products on Vimeo.


new favorite snack

Matt and I went to this new coffee shop on Saturday called The Knockbox Cafe. It was excellent- only a few people there, plenty of board games, and good coffee. But my favorite part was the meal. Duh. I got the egg and cheese panini and it was awesome. Only $3.75 AND it came with this delicious side of fruit made up of granny smith apples, orange bits, and sprinkled with cinnamon and maybe some sugar?

I liked it so much I tried it at home, and boy am I loving it.  After some experimenting I have learned a few things- do put a little bit of sugar in it, and do NOT try it with maple syrup. It's gross.


barley and lentil soup with swiss chard

Eating nothing but chocolate chip banana pancakes and donuts (bought to eat while cooking the pancakes, naturally) for an entire day can make a person feel a little gross. Do not get me wrong! I have no regrets! But however pleased my past child self was with my awesome use of adulthood privileges, my rapidly aging, dare I say crotchety, stomach was anything but thrilled by Monday morning. So yesterday was a little bit of a sugar detox... well, right after eating that giant rice crispy bar left at my house... and that leftover donut.

But you get my point- my body was craving vegetables and lots of them. So I went for a long walk (also needed) to the library to return Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters (RIP Salinger) and then over to  Stanley's Fruits & Vegetables. There I picked up a large load of fruits and veggies and trudged them back home to make a hearty stew to sooth my bitchy sensitive stomach.

Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard  
Bon Appétit | February 2005
Yield: Makes 10 first-course or 6 main-course servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled carrots
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
10 cups (or more) low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup pearl barley
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2/3 cup dried lentils

4 cups (packed) coarsely chopped Swiss chard (about 1/2 large bunch)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Heat oil in heavy large nonreactive pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; sauté until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Mix in cumin; stir 30 seconds. Add 10 cups broth and barley; bring to boil. Reduce heat; partially cover and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice and lentils; cover and simmer until barley and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Add chard to soup; cover and simmer until chard is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in dill. Season soup with salt and pepper. Thin with more broth, if desired.


banana peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes

Yes, you read that correctly. And they were as delicious as they sound.

On Sunday Matt and I really wanted to go to Flo (of course, because that's what you do on Sunday mornings), but neither of us had any money.  So we decided to try a homemade version of my favorite thing on their menu. It worked out! We started with a Cook's Illustrated recipe for buttermilk pancakes, then threw in some mashed bananas and half a bag of peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chips
(adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces) (see note)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
3 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1 - 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
2        ripe bananas, smashed
1/2     bag peanut butter and milk chocolate chips


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Spray wire rack set inside baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; place in oven. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients; gently stir until just combined (batter should remain lumpy with few streaks of flour). Stir in mashed bananas and chips. Do not overmix. Allow batter to sit 10 minutes before cooking.
  2. 2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out oil, leaving thin film of oil on bottom and sides of pan. Using ¼ cup measure, portion batter into pan in 4 places. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve pancakes immediately, or transfer to wire rack in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as necessary.

2. get better at photographing food

Of the resolutions from last year this one was probably the biggest success, thanks in large part to this big dumb blog. Consistently taking pictures of the food I ate made it pretty impossible not to improve.

For a fun challenge I chose a photo I took on January 19, 2009, then recreated it (mostly) and photographed it again using my year's worth of knowledge. Now I'm certainly not saying it's perfect or that I'm a pro yet, but I definitely see improvement and for me, right now, that's good enough.

Also, that was kind of a gross sandwich and I'm a little embarrassed that I ate it so often. My tastes and cooking ability have developed with the photos it seems. No complaints here.